Entries Tagged as 'Iraq'

US military deaths in Iraq war at 4,474

Associated Press
August 23 2011

As of Tuesday, August 23, 2011, at least 4,474 members of the U.S. military have died in the Iraq war since it began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

The figure includes nine military civilians killed in action.

At least 3,524 military personnel died as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers.

The AP count is three fewer than the Defense Department’s tally, last updated Tuesday at 10 a.m. EDT.

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Iraq, 32,175 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department’s weekly tally. …


The numbers of people killed refer to members of the US military – please see Iraq Body Count (at right hand side of this page) for civilian deaths.

Iraqi parties to decide on US presence

Press TV
July 10, 2011

Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani says the country’s political parties will have two weeks to make a final decision on the extension of US troop presence in Iraq beyond December 2011.

“All parties have discussed the matter, and we have all agreed that each one will… give its final response within two weeks,” AFP quoted Talabani as saying on Saturday.

He made the remarks in a press conference after a meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as well as top Shia, Sunni and Kurd political officials.

“The issue of the US troop presence has been thoroughly discussed and our brothers (politicians) decided to tackle the issue with their friends, allies and parties to come after two weeks with a decisive result,” Talabani said.

Iraq’s Sadr Movement has rejected the likely presence of US troops beyond 2011, saying it will take up arms against American forces if US military does not withdraw from the war-weary country. …

Read on: www.presstv.com/detail/188411.html

US military bases attacked in Iraq

Press TV
June 11, 2011

Iraqi security officials say the US military bases have come under rocket attacks, in the deadliest raid on the American forces since May 2009.

According to the Iraqi officials, six rockets have hit a US military base in the southern city of Nassiriya. There is no immediate report on possible damage to the base.

On Friday, another US military base was attacked in the northeastern city of Baqouba, the capital of Diyala province.

Earlier, the US military said in a brief statement that “five US service members were killed Monday in central Iraq,” but gave no additional details on the attack.

Iraq’s interior ministry said the troops were killed when a barrage of rockets hit Camp Victory in the southwestern outskirts of Baghdad.

Washington officially ended combat operations in Iraq in August last year and according to American officials, the US army only acts as an advisor and help to the Iraqi security forces.

However, there have been numerous reports about the involvement of the US troops in military operations in Iraq. …

Read on: www.presstv.ir/detail/184260.html

U.S. Lags on ‘Key Milestones’ in Transition Plan for Iraq, Report Says

By Tony Capaccio
June 2, 2011

The U.S. is failing to meet “key milestones” in advance of the planned Oct. 1 handover of responsibilities in Iraq from the U.S. military to the State Department, according to a report being issued today by the State Department’s Inspector General.

“Although effective planning mechanisms are in place to manage the transition process, some key milestones are not being met, and there is a risk that some programs and operations will not be ready,” the report said.

The report outlined delays in setting up the organizations and security arrangements needed by State Department personnel who are assuming responsibility from the U.S. military as the remaining 50,000 U.S. troops leave this year. It repeats many of the criticisms made of the transition by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction and by the Commission on Wartime Contracting.

“Some slippage is due to unanticipated events beyond the Department’s control, such as securing land use and lease agreements,” the Inspector General’s report said.

Still, “other problems are the result of decision-making delays or the lack of final decisions” with less than five months before the State Department assumes control of the mission. …

Read on: www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-01/u-s-lagging-on-key-milestones-in-iraq-transition-plan-1-.html

As U.S. Military Exits Iraq, Contractors To Enter

by Tom Bowman
May 17, 2011

A U.S. Army helicopter brigade is set to pull out of Baghdad in December, as part of an agreement with the Iraqi government to remove U.S. forces. So the armed helicopters flying over the Iraqi capital next year will have pilots and machine gunners from DynCorp International, a company based in Virginia.

On the ground, it’s the same story. American soldiers and Marines will leave. Those replacing them, right down to carrying assault weapons, will come from places with names like Aegis Defence Services and Global Strategies Group — eight companies in all.

All U.S. combat forces are scheduled to leave Iraq by year’s end, but there will still be a need for security. That means American troops will be replaced by a private army whose job will be to protect diplomats. …

Should the State Department be turning over these inherently military jobs to private contractors? …


US may extend stay in Iraq

Press TV
February 5, 2011

American officials suggest that tens of thousands of US troops in Iraq may extend their stay in the country well beyond the 2011withdrawal deadline.

US Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey said on Friday that more US military forces may be needed to counter what he called “threats to Iraq’s stability, [and they] will remain in 2012.”

The prospects of a longer US military stay in Iraq contradict the clauses of a 2008 agreement between Baghdad and Washington.

The agreement established that US combat forces would withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and that all US forces would be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011.

The Iraqi government initially intended to hold a popular vote on the agreement but later succumbed to US bully-tactics and accepted the agreement.

Since the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003, more than 1,300,000 people have been killed in Iraq, 4.7 million displaced, 5 million children orphaned — nearly half of the country’s children — and the health status has deteriorated to a level not seen since the 1950s.


Iraqi security forces facing serious problems, U.S. oversight official says

Washington Post
By Walter Pincus
January 30, 2011

Iraq’s security forces are confronting significant problems as the U.S. military prepares to withdraw from that country by the end of this year, according to a new report by a top oversight official.

Though advances continue to be made, corruption, lack of capacity to handle logistics and an absence of realistic planning threaten to undermine the security infrastructure and equipment introduced into Iraq by U.S.-led forces, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, Stuart W. Bowen Jr., says in the office’s latest quarterly report, released Sunday.

Since 2003, the United States has provided $58 billion for reconstruction in Iraq, the report says. Of that, almost $20 billion went to supporting Iraq’s security forces, in which nearly 800,000 personnel now serve in the military and police units.

Iraqi military forces are considered capable of counterinsurgency, and checkpoints in Baghdad are being dismantled amid a recent decline in violent incidents. Nonetheless, “insurgents continued to wage a campaign of intimidation and assassination against certain GOI [government of Iraq] military and civilian personnel this quarter, killing or attempting to kill several dozen officials,” the report says. …

Read on: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/29/AR2011012904353.html

Contours of a large and lasting American presence in Iraq starting to take shape

Washington Post
By Aaron C. Davis
January 12, 2011

BAGHDAD – Despite Iraqi leaders’ insistence that the United States meet its end-of-2011 deadline for withdrawing all troops, the contours of a large and lasting American presence here are starting to take shape.

Although a troop extension could still be negotiated, the politics of Iraq’s new government make that increasingly unlikely, and the Obama administration has shown little interest in pushing the point.

Instead, planning is underway to turn over to the State Department some of the most prominent symbols of the U.S. role in the war – including several major bases and a significant portion of the Green Zone.

The department would use the bases to house a force of private security contractors and support staff that it expects to triple in size, to between 7,000 and 8,000, U.S. officials said.

Ongoing negotiations between the United States and Iraq will determine the number of contractors and bases, as well as the number of uniformed military personnel the United States hopes to keep here to continue training Iraqi security forces, the officials said. …

Read on: www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/12/AR2011011204225.html

CentCom planners study massive move of equipment to Afghanistan

By William R. Levesque
November 27, 2009

With President Barack Obama poised to ramp up troop levels in Afghanistan, U.S. Central Command planners are in the midst of the military’s biggest logistical challenge since the Vietnam War.

How do you marshal billions of dollars in equipment to escalate one war in Afghanistan while scaling back another in Iraq? …

In a wide-ranging interview with the St. Petersburg Times this week, [Army Maj. Gen.] Dowd said landlocked Afghanistan presents greater difficulties than Iraq with its fewer routes of supply.

CentCom is now conducting an assessment of air strips in Afghanistan, and Dowd said engineers will have to expand them in order to resupply larger numbers of troops by air.

“I’m a little concerned about” airfield capacity, Dowd said. “We’ve got to expand and make it better.” …

Obama is expected to announce next week an escalation of the U.S. effort in Afghanistan that will send as many as 30,000 additional troops on top of the 68,000 already there.

Much of the U.S. equipment in Iraq will never return to the states.

Often, it isn’t cost-efficient to do so, planners say.

Much of it will be sold to Iraqi security forces, Dowd said. Other gear not sent to Afghanistan after refurbishment in Kuwait might be placed in storage somewhere in CentCom’s area of responsibility, which includes 20 nations in the region. …


Iraq, Afghanistan wars coordinated from afar

June 19, 2009
By Michel Moutot

TAMPA, Florida (AFP) — The target may be in Iraq or Afghanistan, but if a US air attack risks killing civilians the decision to strike is taken by leaders at this military base in sunny Tampa, Florida.

In a windowless room at the sprawling MacDill Air Force Base, home to the US Central Command (CENTCOM), several dozen officers monitor developments across the Middle East, the Gulf and Central Asia 24 hours a day.

They also watch events in the pirate-infested waters off Somalia’s shores. …

A huge flat screen monitor on the left broadcasts live images caught by cameras aboard unmanned aerial vehicles, both spy planes and drones. Reconnaissance video streams and attacks are also tracked in real time. …

In the center of the room, another monitor continuously shows updated summaries of key data and information. Digital clocks on the wall gives the time in Tampa, Qatar, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and “Zulu” (GMT). …

Among the computer screens sit two powerful Sun workstations.

“Their job is to use picture and imagery to calculate what weapon to use,” said Schappler, adding that the calculations at CENTCOM are completed simultaneously with others in the field.

“They discuss it and find a common ground. But if they still disagree, it goes to the higher level. So, the decision is taken here. But often, in the meantime, the target is gone.”

Despite all the high-level coordination, there are sometimes mistakes — mistakes that often prove costly in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the US air strikes are deeply unpopular.

US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have their own command posts and operations centers, but personnel at Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas, in the western US state of Nevada, maneuver the pilotless Predator and Reaper drones that fly over Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. …